California is the third-largest state in the US with over 163,000 square miles of vast and sweeping terrain. It is one of the most geographically diverse regions in the nation featuring mountains, coastal ranges, valleys, rivers, lakes, deserts – and an abundance of natural hot springs.
California’s Geothermal Background
California is located within the Pacific Ring of Fire, which is comprised of a chain of volcanoes. This volcanic activity is where California’s hot springs were born.
Why Are Hot Springs in California Hot?
Water heated from deep within the earth due to volcanic activity pushes its way through fractures and cracks in rocks while gathering minerals along the way. Groundwater from rain aids in replacing the water heated by magma and subsequently renewing the cycle.
In order to assist with finding your next favorite hot pool in California, our listings include access information, pool conditions, hours, directions, maps, rates, facility information, ratings, pictures, video clips and more.
How to Find Natural Hot Springs in California
- View a listing of hot springs in northern California
- View a listing of hot springs in southern California
- View a statewide map of individual hot springs locations
- Search for your favorite hot springs by name by using the search box located on every page
- Use the Soak by Features list to view hot springs sorted by type on every page
Hot Springs Safety Precautions
Many hot springs are far from civilization; away from gas, water, cell phone service and roadside assistance. It is incredibly important to be prepared when traveling to new places. First and foremost, know where you are going. Will you be able to refuel along the way or do you need to carry extra gas? Will your vehicle handle the roads you’ll be traveling on? What shape is your spare tire in?
Red Spider Mite Warning
Only a handful of hot springs in California have been reported to have red spider mites.
No Soap or Shampoo! EVER!
Public hot springs in California are not bathing facilities and do not have ‘plumbing’ like that of commercial, improved hot springs.
Soap and shampoo, including bio soap and shampoo, do not break down naturally and pollute our fragile ecosystems.
FYI, this is also illegal in most wilderness and public land areas. Please report suspicious activity to public lands officials (take pics).
Leave No Trace
It is important to remember when visiting non-commercial hot springs in California or any state to leave them in better shape than when you arrived.
Please leave no trace, bring no glass and embrace the experience. We recommend cleaning up the area and hot springs before soaking as it makes for a more natural experience and reward for your stewardship efforts.